The efforts of the north-east’s hard-working young people, volunteers, communities and workers were celebrated last night.
The Inspiring Aberdeenshire awards were held at Haddo House, near Ellon, with accolades presented to residents from across the region who have made an outstanding contribution to education, learning or leisure.
Twelve awards were presented during the night, and guests were also treated to performances by Westhill Academy Ceilidh Band, the New Deer Primary School Choir and dance group Hip Hop School School.
Maria Walker, director of Aberdeenshire Council’s education, learning and leisure, said: “Every day outstanding and inspirational events happen in our communities throughout Aberdeenshire.
“Inspiring Aberdeenshire showcases some of these things – talented young people, community groups doing wonderful work in our communities, staff going the extra mile to ensure that people have the best service possible.
“This event is one of the most inspiring and emotional evenings when we celebrate Aberdeenshire.”
Among the winners were the staff and volunteers of the Theatre Modo Team for their project based on Mr Arbuthnot’s Cabinet of Curiosities. The interactive exhibit highlighted the region’s rich museum collections, and won them the Creative Place Art Competition category.
Young gymnast Izzy Tolometti was also recognised for her commitment to her sport. The Alford Academy pupil has represented Scotland at several events, and is now aiming to compete in the Commonwealth Games 2018.
Another winner from the school was Marjorie Ruddick, who has been an invigilator for more than 20 years. Not only does she offer support and guidance to pupils and staff in the rundown to exams, she is also a foster carer and trainer and volunteers at the local judo club, where she helped organise competitors at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Other award winners included Phyllis Sinclair, who has dedicated the last 24 years to the Stonehaven After School Club; Sally Sheehan of the Ythan Centre in Ellon for her commitment to supporting families with disabilities; Fergus Sharp, of Huntly’s Gordon Schools, for his contribution to school and community projects; Crimond School’s singing star Nicky Murray; and Meldrum Academy’s catering team.